Where Kyle Beckerman's remarkable career longevity ranks all-time among major sports leagues

Kyle Beckerman - over the years

Kyle Beckerman's incredible MLS career continues on Friday night when Real Salt Lake look to build upon their opening win in Group D with in their second match against Minnesota United (10:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada).

With his 67-minute shift in RSL's tournament-opening 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids, Beckerman officially registered an appearance in his 21st MLS season. That's not only an all-time high among MLS players, but it's among the active leaders in pro sports longevity in any major league in the United States and Canada. 

Here's where Beckerman stands among those athletes in the five major leagues (MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL.)

Longest Career by Season


  • Adam Vinatieri: 24 seasons in 2019; 25th season in 2020 (NFL)
  • Joe Thornton: 22 seasons in 2019-20 (NHL)
  • Patrick Marleau: 22 seasons in 2019-20 (NHL)
  • Zdeno Chara: 22 seasons in 2019-20 (NHL)
  • Kyle Beckerman: 21 seasons in 2020 (MLS)
  • Tom Brady: 20 seasons in 2019; 21st season in 2020 (NFL)
  • Albert Pujols: 19 seasons through 2019; 20th season in 2020 (MLB)
  • Jamal Crawford: 19 seasons through 2018-19; 20th season in 2019-20 (NBA)
  • Tyson Chandler: 19 seasons in 2018-19 (NBA)


  • Nolan Ryan, 27 seasons (MLB)
  • Chris Chelios, 26 seasons (NHL)
  • Gordie Howe, 26 seasons (NHL)
  • George Blanda, 26 seasons (NFL)
  • Vince Carter, 22 seasons (NBA)

Beckerman is almost unparalleled in terms of athlete longevity in the first 25 seasons of a league's existence, according to StatsPerform. Only Cap Anson is ahead of him. He played 22 seasons in the National League for the Chicago Cubs, all of them prior to the 20th Century and all of them prior to the beginning of the Cubs' World Series curse.